More than just DX News

CT4NH 40 Years on the Air

CT4NH Anniversary

Luis, CT4NH, lives in one of those municipalities around Lisbon which seem to be part of the Portugal's capital city, but are spread many kilometres from the actual core of the town. Driving a car in Lisbon is annoying, as there no straight roads, it is a maze of winding streets, lined up with parked vehicles, going up and down, with very few road signs and invisible names of the streets. It is easy to get lost, even using the GPS navigation, in particular in the dark. Finding the QTH of Luis at daytime was easier since his antenna tower is visible from some distance. It is not a very exposed location, but not surrounded by other houses either. It was the middle of December and the weather was relatively good, after a tempest two days earlier. The antenna tower on the roof is very rugged and the antenna did not suffer any damage.

I met Luis, CT4NH twenty years ago during my first visit to Lisbon, at the QTH of Jose, CT1AOZ. Today Luis is retired and almost 70 years old, but very active. We went first to the roof to catch the light of the setting sun. The twelve-meter hefty steel mast is actually of American origin, and it has to be strong, since the huge Opti-Beam antenna array is both heavy and of considerable wind area. This antenna is relatively new, installed about 4 years ago with a lot of help from radio friends. Luis is a mechanical engineer and relies on his professional calculations. As a matter of fact, he is often helping other radio amateurs designing and evaluating their antenna supports. So far, in most places in Portugal, property owners are not restricted regarding amateur antennas as in some other countries.

Inside the radio room of CT4NH there are some jewels, both very modern and vintage. I spotted a few Collins and Hammarlund items, more than 50 years old, in the shelf. The operating table is loaded with heavy-weight amplifiers and one radio.

A view of the antenna farm from the garden. There is a vertical loop and dipoles for low-frequencies and a receiving loop. The garden is decorated with old traditional tiles, one of which is depicted on the QSL card of CT4NH.

Luis, CT4NH is the current president of The Portuguese DX Group ( They are quite active, arranging some trips to islands and supporting DX-peditions. Luis has top achievements in the DX-chase, but does not display the trophies, plaques and diplomas on the wall. He is presently focused on difficult to get IOTA islands, trying to reach one thousand of them.

The morning sun is bright. Luis is a glad and helpful person. This is the place where the contesting world champion Jose, CT1BOH started his adventure with Amateur Radio contests, while still a teenager. They set up temporary antennas on this then old empty house and Jose made excellent scores, mostly on CW. Luis lived then in the house beside.

Luis, CT4NH got his first licence exactly 40 years ago, at the end of 1977. He has a very well grounded approach to this hobby. The installations are dependable and he himself is systematic and well organized. However, radio was not his first passion. First he got hooked on motor cars and still is. His current pride is a totally restored English 1965 Austin Mini Cooper. Another one, parked in the backyard, is waiting in line for regeneration in the coming months of poor DX propagation.

Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF
December 2017